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Tamoxifen: New Use for an Old Drug

  • When July 29 , 2015, noon to 1 p.m.
  • Who Olivera Nesic, PhD

    Associate Professor, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Science Center, El Paso, Texas

  • Where Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, R1059
    2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016

For almost four decades tamoxifen, an estrogen receptor modulator, has been used to treat breast cancer. Tamoxifen can also mimic the neuroprotective effects of estrogen in various neuropathological conditions, but it lacks estrogen’s serious adverse systemic effects. Dr. Nesic’s laboratory found that tamoxifen significantly improved the motor recovery of rats with spinal cord injury, thus indicating a translational potential, as it also readily crosses the blood–brain barrier, has low cost, and has demonstrated its clinical safety for 40 years. Using proteomic analyses, Western blots, and histological assays, Dr. Nesic’s laboratory demonstrated that tamoxifen significantly increased the abundance of mature oligodendrocytes and elevated myelin levels, in part by promoting differentiation of glia progenitor cells, a novel finding. Tamoxifen also altered the phenotype of reactive astrocytes, including the upregulationof the water channel aquaporin 4 (AQP4) associated with smaller cavities. Based on their findings, Dr. Nesic and colleagues propose that tamoxifen is a promising candidate for the therapeutic treatment of spinal cord injury and a possible clinically applicable intervention for other neuropathological conditions associated with demyelination and AQP4 dysfunction.

Olivera Nesic, PhD

Olivera Nesic, PhD

Additional details

This is a free event. The host is Michael Friedlander, PhD. For more information, please send an e-mail.

Map and parking

This map shows where the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute is located in Roanoke, VA at 2 Riverside Circle.

Parking is available in the surface lot or in the adjacent parking garage.

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